Monday, 31 May 2010

If you want something done ..

So far this weekend I have
  • Planted tomato, squash, cucumber, courgette and runner bean plants at the allotment (now I am too scared to go up again to check on them as I suspect they have been munched - again).
  • Spent ages watering all my plants without checking the weather forecast.
  • Written up all the client reports that I was ignoring.
  • Cleaned downstairs.
  • Thinned the swede and weeded around the asparagus, carrots and sweetcorn seedlings (oh and the one beetroot!)
  • Crocheted enough flowers to finish the first round of commissions for Nicki.
  • Visited my lovely Nanny.
  • Made some chocolate shortbread.
  • Crocheted a lace motif (on a 2mm hook!)
  • Watched Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (as well as the Grand Prix, England v Japan, caught up on the Chelsea Flower Show and an old Jonathan Creek episode).
  • Had a lovely brunch at this cafe and then popped in to marvel at friends in their caravan during a huge downpour.
  • Entertained my rampant two year old with few confrontations apart from a meltdown of Exorcist proportions in the bath Saturday night when a Postman Pat book was removed from her tight grasp (on previous evenings she has gone to bed with a plastic toilet seat and pink star as they could cope with getting wet).

And there's still a whole day ahead.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

I've created a space

This space has been many things in the three years we have lived here. It has been an empty space, it has been a dressing table for the friends that never seem to come and stay, it has been a table for working from home and a desk for Open University - but now it is a space to create. I have lots of creating to do at the moment so rather than juggle my books, yarn, sewing box etc they can now spread out and stay out.

Dan has looked after Scarlett a bit lately and has been in charge of her wardrobe. Earlier this week he dressed her in a smock top. When I got home he asked me if he was supposed to have got her arms through the plastic loops. Bless.
In a bid to gradually introduce her to the concept of toilet training we have a plastic potty and toilet seat residing in the bathroom. Scarlett loves sitting on the potty but thinks the toilet seat is a steering wheel so it is now known as 'car'.
I'm not sure if she was a bit overtired yesterday but 'car' became such a focus of attachment that it was in the bath, held onto so tightly that I had to wrap the towel over the both of them and then taken to bed and chatted to for over two hours. I sneaked in late to gently remove it from her hand and have since hid it.
The first thing she asked for this morning? 'Mummy'. The second thing ... 'car'.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Once I started ...


... I just couldn't stop (just as well, as I have lots and lots to make).

Friday, 21 May 2010

Wanted: a mind less complex

Just a quick check in - all is well but I have been struggling to keep my head above the water, once again.
It appears I have raging hormones that only give me one happy and bubbly week a month. Perhaps that is why I started to write this blog in the first place - looking back, anytime when I have been ravaged with self-doubt, consumed with immense anxiety, struggling to cope with my beautiful daughter, irrationally angry towards my super-helpful and kind husband, desperate at the thought of another moment in my home or dreaming of a life somewhere else it has coincided with these monthly phases.
I am so embarassed that I have this affliction - I believe and trust in equality and yet I am not equal when I cannot cope for three out of four weeks of each and every month.
As I sit here in a good phase, acknowledging and aware of what has been happening, here are some things I know
a) I put myself under immense pressure - whether adding a monthly book group to my long To Do list, to baking our bread, through to trying to work almost full-time from home with minimal childcare.
b) I don't have a hobby that I can rely on during these 'down' times. I knit, crochet, garden, grow vegetables, read, run and write but all in phases - not exclusively or even daily.
c) I am rubbish at taking time out for me. As a general rule, I don't want to stay away or even be out for a day (although I am going out tomorrow - more about that in another post, no doubt), it just doesn't feel right somehow. Obviously I go to work, try to go to the gym and occasionally go out in the evening but each one of those is preceded by long periods of procrastination and a hope that some minor incident will enable me to cancel.
d) I am an all or nothing type - but maybe that's the nature of this particular beast?

So, what to do? Well, I have been to see the doctor so I have a plan. There is little I can do medically whilst I remain hopeful of another natural pregnancy, but there are things I can do.
And tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Eggs and chickens (and ducks)

I'm not sure which came first, my Dad's crush on Felicity Kendal or our attempt at running a smallholding. In fact, I'm not even sure the two were linked - either way, I was lucky enough to grow up with a goat, some chickens, sheep, a horse, dogs and feral cats. In the midst of this amazing opportunity was an experience that I still struggle to overcome. One day, I cracked an egg into a pan and there was a dead chick (thank god it was dead when you think about it). Since then I have become an egg facist - they need to be really fresh, really cold and are always cracked into a bowl first. I avoid all eggs that I'm not sure about.
So yesterday, when we bumped into our friends at the allotment and they gave us two boxes of eggs from their chickens and ducks, I was already working out how to rehome them as I smiled.
We donated one box to our neighbours in return for last night's supper, which just left three eggs looking for a home ...

... when whipped together with some parsley from the garden, they made the most perfectly fresh and tasty omelette.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Just been to the allotment (twice this week - you can tell I need to be out of the home). All is well although not too many seeds poking their heads through. I don't seem to have lost anymore plants - the last head count was 6 tomatoes, 2 courgettes and a globe artichoke - although a couple of the beans have been slaughtered by the multitude of snails that gravitate towards our plot as they get to live, feed and eat without stumbling on a blue pellet. A neighbour told me that we had just missed a pair of magpies methodically hunting on our plot - don't you just love nature.
This morning I planted some raspberry canes in the garden, we also have lettuces, tomatoes and peas doing well - can you tell I'm a bit obsessed with Alys Fowler? I'd quite like to dress like her too ....!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Wife on a Short Fuse

I had plans for this weekend, not big plans, but the sort of 'little bit of time to myself' kind of plans. Unfortunately none of these had happened when I stomped off to bed at 8pm last night with the really grown up - 'I'm just so bored'. Having humphed and sulked my way through this morning I eventually told the assembled family that I wanted to watch this week's epsiode of the Edible Garden with no interruptions so off I went with my salad (including homegrown lettuce leaves, how authentic). Having improved my malaise slightly I then stomped the dog around the streets for 45 minutes in the hail/sun/rain/wind. I felt better, I was grateful for what I have and even managed to ignore another pile of washing up that had developed in the intervening period. More importantly, things seemed to have improved at home too.
Maybe sometimes it's good to be childish ..